SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A Miramar-based Marine who fatally shook his 4-month-old son because the baby was crying while he was trying to play video games was sentenced Monday to 20 years in state prison.
Michael David Bixby, 23, pleaded guilty last month to voluntary manslaughter and two counts of child abuse causing great bodily injury.
Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior said Bixby committed the "ultimate betrayal" on his infant son, 4-month-old Andru Bixby.
Prior, calling the killing "senseless and selfish," gave the defendant credit for stepping up and telling authorities what he had done.
Last Feb. 17, the defendant grabbed the victim from his baby carrier and twisted his right arm, breaking it. Bixby then shook the infant so hard that it caused fatal brain and spinal cord injuries, Prior said.
The baby was taken to a hospital, but died the next morning.
The defendant 2-year-old son, Taeleor, was upstairs while his younger brother was being attacked, the prosecutor said.
The children's mother, Stephanie Bixby, wrote a letter to the court, saying her husband broke his promise to keep their children safe.
"I believed you, I trusted you and stood by you through thick and thin," she wrote. "I loved you and you didn't just betray my trust, you betrayed our sons and our vows.
"A mother should never outlive her children, let alone watch them let go. I should hate you for what you did to those boys. I hope you get what's coming for you."
Stephanie Bixby was at school when her husband fatally injured Andru, according to Prior.
Defense attorney Kathleen Coyne said her client was "remorseful and regretful" of what happened and was "extremely young" with no experience handling children when he attacked his son.
Bixby was also feeling stress from his impending deployment when he killed the child, Coyne said.
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